Page 2137 - Week 07 - Thursday, 29 June 2023

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I thank Advocacy for Inclusion as well as ADACAS, our Disability Reference Group and many other stakeholders for their ongoing engagement with government on this and their very valuable expertise and knowledge that they are contributing to that work.

MR MILLIGAN: Minister, when will you begin to recognise the investment, time and expertise of those who have worked hard with the government on the co-design of the strategy and start putting some funds behind this strategy?

MS DAVIDSON: Thank you for the question. I absolutely recognise the expertise, knowledge and skills of people with disability in designing reforms and changes across government that will have a real impact on making our city more accessible and more inclusive, which is what we all want it to be.

We see this through the way that we support and develop members of the Disability Reference Group, who have done some fantastic work during the consultation on the ACT Disability Strategy over the past year. We see that through the increases in the funding that have been provided in ACT budgets for organisations like Advocacy for Inclusion and ADACAS to continue the work that they do in advocacy for people with disability in our community. We also see that through the inclusion of real actions and real changes in strategies across health, education and whole of government as well as our justice system. And we will continue to see that happening.

As for funding for the ACT’s Disability Strategy, as I was saying, once we actually have the strategy and we know what those actions are, we will be able to more accurately determine how much it will cost and how much funding we are going to need to deliver those things. I am sure the Treasurer is very much looking forward to the conversations we are going to have about that.

MRS KIKKERT: Minister, how will the ongoing lack of funding impact on the improvement of diagnostic services, accessible equipment, information, infrastructure and cultural change towards people with disability in the health sector?

MS DAVIDSON: I thank the member for the question. There is an increase in funding in the budget this year for a range of health services that will support people with disability. There is a real diversity of chronic conditions and disabilities in our community for which we need really well-supported and well-resourced health services. I thank the Minister for Health for her ongoing work in making sure that we continue to build on and develop our health system in the ACT.

In terms of what is in the ACT Disability Strategy, it will go far more broadly than health services. We will be looking at how we can support people with disability who are trying to access inclusive, accessible housing that is secure and affordable, how we can make sure that they have access to lifelong education opportunities, how we can engage employers in better supporting people with disability for employment opportunities and a range of other things that people with disability are really looking to do in our community.

Some of the really important things that people with disability talk to me about regularly is wanting more people in our community to have an awareness and

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